10 Vegan Fast Food Menu Items from Your Favorite Chains
Vegan Fast Food Options
In an ideal world, vegan fast food and restaurant options would be just as plentiful as their carnivore counterparts. But on most menus, your only obvious choices are a side salad or french fries—not the most exciting, filling, or healthy of options. The next time you need a quick plant-based meal, visit one of these 10 chains meeting customer demands for vegan fast food.
Your favorite late-night taco joint took the work out of deciphering their vegan fast food options in the form of a "how to eat vegan" guide. The most common suggestions are swapping meat and cheese for beans (black or refried), or asking for it fresco style; which replaces cheese, sour cream, and sauces with pico de gallo. (More: The Healthiest Orders at Taco Bell According to Nutritionists.)
Auntie Anne's Pretzels
Vegan or not, sometimes you just want a soft, warm mall pretzel. You can order the Auntie Anne's Pretzels original, cinnamon sugar, almond, jalapeño, or raisin pretzel without butter to make it vegan. And don't forget the dip—the marinara sauce and sweet pretzel dip are made without milk or eggs.
Make your own burrito or bowl with Chipotle's vegan ingredients and toppings. These include tortillas, rice, beans, vegetables, salsas, guacamole, and chips. Or order the Vegan Bowl with sofritas—a spicy shredded tofu—brown rice, black beans, and roasted corn salsa. And don't forget the guac. (Related: The Healthiest Orders at Chipotle According to Nutritionists)
Drive through nearly every suburban neighborhood and you'll likely pass a Burger King. And since the Impossible Whopper has made its way to the menu, it's an easy choice for a vegan fast food option on the run. Just ask for it without mayo. If you're there for breakfast, the French toast sticks and hash browns are also vegan. And another bonus insider secret: the Dutch apple pie has no eggs or dairy.
White Castle was the first chain to launch a plant-based burger nationwide, so it's a vegan fast food pioneer. The Impossible slider is a nearly identical dupe for their famous burgers except it is made from wheat and potato protein, coconut oil, soy leghemoglobin, and a protein called heme, which "bleeds" like a meat patty. The slider is served with cheddar cheese, pickles, and onions, so order it sans cheese to make sure its a true vegan fast food order.
Noodles & Company
With just a few customizations, many of the Noddles & Company pasta bowls can be made vegan. Whole wheat fresca can be ordered without parmesan and the spaghetti and meatballs can be served with just pasta and no cheese. The Japanese pan noodles and spicy peanut saute is purely a vegan fast food menu item—no modifications needed—or ask for the spicy Korean beef without the meat.
Moe's Southwest Grill
When you visit Moe's Southwest Grill there are three vegan fast food options to choose from: burritos, tacos, or salad. But from there, there are endless ways to customize. Pick corn or whole grain tortillas, tofu or beans (black or pinto), brown rice or cilantro-lime rice, plus grilled onions and peppers, or fresh lettuce and pico.
Panera Bread is known for having strict food standards—the menu contains no preservatives, sweeteners, or colors from artificial sources. So, it makes sense that they've also considered their vegan fast food customers. Many of their bagels and breads are vegan already. And you can order the Mediterranean veggie sandwich without feta for a plant-based option. Most of their dressings are also vegan, meaning you can grab your fave salad such as the Fuji apple, Greek, or Asian Sesame, and hold the chicken and cheese for a vegan-approved meal. Panera's ten vegetable soup, vegan lentil quinoa bowl, and soba noodle broth bowl with edamame meet the standards too. Bonus: The lentil quinoa broth bowl is one of the healthiest things you can order at Panera Bread according to nutritionists. (Did you know that you can also order keto at Panera?)
Starting in September, Subway is rolling out a new vegan menu option—the Beyond Meatball Marinara with "meat"balls made with a plant-based protein blend of peas, brown rice, mung beans, and breadcrumbs. The rollout is starting in five U.S. cities, Jackson, Mississippi; South Bend, Indiana; Fresno, California; Louisville, Kentucky; and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but is anticipated to expand to more locations. If you don't want to wait for the Beyond Meat meatball sub, any Subway shop can make a Veggie Delite sandwich vegan by removing the cheese and serving on Italian or 9-grain wheat bread. (Related: These Vegan Meatballs Change the Way You Think About Meatless Meals)
Surprising from a company called BareBurger but the burger chain is now a vegan restaurant paradise with 50 percent of their menu filled with vegan fast food options. There are five burger patty options—impossible, beyond meat, sweet pea, kale, and wild rice patty, black bean, roasted corn, and poblano patty, and finally, a patty made with quinoa, corn, and green pea. They also have a vegan shake made with coconut milk ice cream, a plant-based bratwurst, and vegan breakfast options.